Patch 4.3 World Map and Minimap Improvements
The world map and mini-map got a couple of upgrades on test realms and they should be slightly more useful after the patch, hopefully we will see it on live servers soon.
The minimap has an improved menu and will let you track a couple more things, including archaeology and questing areas.
You can now track areas on your minimap, archaeology sites and quest objectives areas will now be displayed directly on the minimap!
The world map now (finally) shows the level of regions on mouseover.
Patch 4.3 - Priest Glyph of Shadow
Priests are getting a new minor Glyph in patch 4.3, the Glyph of Shadow! As mentioned during Blizzcon, this glyph changes the alpha of your character and lets you see most of your equipment while in Shadow Form.
Patch 4.3 - Divine Aegis Animation
While we're talking about priests, here is a video preview of the new effect on Divine Aegis.
Patch 4.3 - Hurricane Animation
Druids also got some more tweaking to the new Hurricane animation. Don't forget about the other animation updates:
Update - There was another "update" to PTR 4.3 notes today, this is the same thing as yesterday's update except that Blizzard fixed the error on Beacon of Light.
Originally Posted by Kaivax
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Word of Glory definitely triggers BoL. That was an oversight in the patch notes posted 90 minutes ago. We have updated the notes to read:
Beacon of Light is triggered by Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.
We apologize for the confusion.
Death Knight Tier 13 and Visual Retrospective
The Death Knight Tier 13 Armor Set is now official and looks exactly like the version we previewed a few days ago.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Adventurers will be tested like never before in 4.3 as they take on Deathwing and his minions, emerging with powerful new treasures. Please enjoy this preview of the death knight tier 13 set, as well as a visual guide to tiers 7 through 12 for Transmogrification purposes.
Curse visits Blizzcon 2011
The entire Curse team was at Blizzcon this year and our lovely Pico got to meet a couple of WoW players.
Blizzard Insider #42 -- Meet the Pandaren Monk
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With the launch of the next World of Warcraft® expansion, the Mists of Pandaria™ will lift to reveal the pandaren, a long-secluded race that has spent generations mastering the way of the monk -- World of Warcraft’s newest playable class.
To get an inside look at the upcoming World of Warcraft race and class options, the Blizzard Insider recently sat down with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to discuss the design decisions that went into creating the pandaren monk. So read on, and be among the first to meet the brawling heroes who are, even now, secretly training within the mists.
Blizzard Insider: How will the pandaren race differ from the other races of Azeroth? What ideas are being explored for their racial abilities?
Ghostcrawler: Ultimately, the challenge with races is to make them feel unique without actually providing them with so much power that players feel like they don’t have a choice in which race they want to be. If tauren are the best warriors, then Horde players might feel like they are sacrificing too much in order to try out a different race or stick with a race they really like. With the pandaren, you probably won’t see anything so amazing that everyone gravitates to them… except that their art and animation is just so wonderful.
The biggest difference for the pandaren is that they can join the Horde or the Alliance, which is something we’ve never tried before. That alone will make them feel unique. They also have a very strong cultural kit. Our trolls might be somewhat Jamaican and the draenei have Eastern European accents, but the pandaren have a very strong Asian influence. That affects everything from their animations -- which have a martial arts vibe, even for non-monks -- to their hairstyles.
For racial abilities, we’re giving them a bonus to cooking… and to eating. We’re also giving them a moderate bonus to rested experience to make it less daunting to level one all the way up to level 90. They also get the mystical-martial ability to paralyze opponents by touching their pressure points. Finally, we came up with a silly racial, Bouncy, that causes them to take less falling damage. While the pandaren are as noble and epic as any of our races, we felt like we had to acknowledge their, shall we say, endomorphic body shape in some way.
Of course, as with any design this early out, this may all change by the time the new expansion goes live.
Insider:How did the team decide on monks as the new playable class? Were there any other ideas that were considered?
Ghostcrawler: We settled on the pandaren race first, and after that, the new class was a no-brainer. We actually did discuss whether World of Warcraft needed a new class at this time. As awesome as they are, it was disruptive to add the death knight, and it took us some time to get them feeling fun and balanced. Ultimately, though, we decided the time was right, and at that point the big decision was whether the new class would be a Brewmaster specifically, or a monk that you could play with a Brewmaster kit. At the moment, we’re going with the tank being the Brewmaster, but that could change.
Insider:How will the monk differ from other classes?
Ghostcrawler: We’re trying a few different things. For now, the monk has no auto-attack, which is unique among melee classes. The monk has a different resource as players might expect, where they have both light and dark resources that power different abilities. We are even trying to have the monk healing spec use a lot of punches and kicks. While monk characters will care about weapons, and weapons contribute to their damage and healing, you don’t see the weapons in a lot of attacks. We save them for some of the big finishers.
From a non-gameplay standpoint, the most noticeable difference is the huge number of animations the monk has. When you think of a magic-using class, you think of a lot of splashy spell effects. With the monk we thought it made more sense to invest heavily in animation, and the artists really delivered on that.
Insider:How are you structuring the monk’s talent tree?
Ghostcrawler: Well, the talent tree design overall is changing dramatically in Mists of Pandaria. Each class will just have one talent tree with a lot of attractive -- and hard -- decisions. However, like other classes, the monk will have three different specializations available at level 10. For now, we are calling these for the melee damage spec, Brewmaster for the tanking spec, and Mistweaver for the healing spec. The Brewmaster should have the feel of dodging and weaving in combat, reminiscent of the drunken master from martial arts flicks. The Windwalker will be the kung fu master who beats the crap out of opponents with fists and feet. The Mistweaver is partially the wise healer archetype, but like the old men in martial arts movies, he can beat down his enemies as well.
It’s also worth pointing out that even though many races can be monks, the story of the game is that it is the pandaren who introduce the ways of the monk to the Alliance and the Horde, so even non-pandaren monks will have a strong Pandarian -- the continent -- kit.
Insider:What are the challenges involved in adding a new class to the game? Were there any specific things you learned from the addition of the death knight class in Wrath of the Lich King that you hope to apply to the monk?
Ghostcrawler: Adding a class is one of the most challenging things we can do. There are a couple of mistakes we made with the death knight that we’d like to avoid. The death knight resource model, for example, ends up feeling really complicated. We also had some balance problems early on, partially based on -- possibly biased -- feedback that the death knight felt weak. We didn’t want our brand-new class to feel neglected, so we overdid it a bit. Then when we got them back in line, it felt to the death knight players like we had pulled the rug out from under them. On the other hand, the death knight is a really iconic character for World of Warcraft, and the class abilities and spell effects really deliver on that fantasy. We need to make sure the monk feels just as cool and really delivers on what players expect a monk to play like.
Insider:How will monks be itemized?
Ghostcrawler: They wear leather armor, so the tank and DPS monks will want the same Agility-based armor that rogues and Feral druids wear. The healing monk will want the Intellect-based armor worn by Balance and Resto druids. For weapons, the two signature items are fists and staves. At the moment, we are focusing the Windwalker on fists and the Brewmaster on staves, but we might give players more flexibility than that. The melee monks can also use weapons like one-handed maces, axes, and swords. The Mistweaver can use healer staves, maces, axes, and swords. Monks can’t use shields, and no melee class uses ranged weapons any longer.
Insider:Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to share before you go?
Ghostcrawler: One of the victories we had with the death knight came when we introduced a fun ability at relatively low level that became synonymous with the class. I’m talking about Death Grip, which lets the death knight yank enemies over to him. We decided we needed something similar for the monk, so we came up with Roll. Roll is like a combination between warrior Charge and mage Blink. Unlike those two abilities, Roll can be used sideways or backwards as well. It looks great to see a character, a pandaren especially, tuck into a somersault. It’s a lot of fun.
Update - There was a minor update to the Patch 4.3 PTR Notes, probably nothing you haven't seen here yet. Details added after the datamined changes.
Update - The Live Q&A is now over, the transcript can be found at the bottom of the news.
Update - Video of the Tyrael's Charger, this is a ModelViewer/Sandbox video and the render might not be representative of the final version of the mount. I am not sure if the wings are final, they currently use the Firehawk texture (CREATURE\FIREHAWK\T_VFX_BORDERFEATHERS.BLP)
Patch 4.3 - PTR Build 14899
A minor build is being deployed on test realms, the main change is the addition of the Tyrael's Charger from the WoW annual pass.
This is a PTR model and it might be updated/changed in the future. A video will be up within the hour
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Legendary Daggers Bonus Wording Clarified
Item - Dragon Soul Legendary Daggers Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Shadows of the Destroyer, increasing your Agility by 17, stacking up to 50 times. Each application past 30 grants an increasing chance to trigger Fury of the Destroyer. When triggered, this consumes all applications of Shadows of the Destroyer, immediately granting 5 combo points and cause your finishing moves to generate 5 combo points. Lasts 6 sec.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
General New Dungeon & Raid Content
Well of Eternity is now available for testing. Your participation and feedback here is appreciated.
This new grouping feature allows players to quickly and easily form a pick-up raid for a specially tuned version of the current tier of endgame content: the Dragon Soul raid. Raid Finder is now available for testing. Your participation and feedback here is appreciated.
Beacon of Light is triggered by Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing. (Word of Glory removed from the list)
The Voidwalker ability Suffering now works like the hunter pet talent Taunt.
Mists of Pandaria Live Developer Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q:How will one get to the continent of Pandaria? A: Players will get to Pandaria via new quests from Orgrimmar and Stormwind. We have tried to make these quests short and sweet to make sure players can into the new continent as fast as possible.
Q:Any plans to fix pet stats being too low for a few seconds after spawning? A: We are fixing pets so stats won't lag several seconds after logging in or dismounting in 5.0.
Q:Currently, it was announced that Monks might not have an auto-attack feature. With the lack of auto-attacks, are there plans on balancing the values for Hit Rating and Haste Rating for a DPS-spec'ed Monk, since one would only need to reach the "soft" hit cap (8%) for specials and Haste Rating will only be affecting their power regeneration and reducing their GCD? A: Monks will have the same hit cap as e.g. an Arms warrior and their energy regen drives everything they do, so their regen will scale the same as rogues and haste in general will scale their damage by the same percentages.
Q:At Blizzcon Tom Chilton mentioned possible incentives for raiding enemy towns to encourage world PVP in mists, can Greg or Cory elaborate on this at all? A: In regards to extra rewards for world pvp, we are contemplating the idea of increasing players conquest point caps by an extra 10-15%.
Q:With the new talent system, will you start to follow the model in place with Collosus Smash, where a move functions completely differently in PVE and PVP? A: We don't have a problem with specific mechanics working differently in PvP and PvE. Curse of Doom worked that way for years. Same with PvP durations on debuffs. What we don't want to do is just launch into having different coefficients and talents and everything for PvP and PvE. That just doubles the size of the game which makes it more complex to balance and harder for players to understand.
Q:Currently in 4.2 as a Balance Druid I have to kill critters before every boss fight so that I start in Solar Eclipse. Is there going to be more critters in MoP or even better, a cooldown that puts us straight into an eclipse? A: We don't think the answer is more critter spawning in instances. We don't have a specific solution we're ready to announce, but we plan to address the problem.
Q:Where do we level from 85 to 90? A: You'll leveling on the new continent of Pandaria, of course!
Q:Hey there. Will Pandaria have a new Dalaran like city or will we be using the ones already existing ingame? A: We will have separate player hubs for both the Horde and Alliance on Pandaria. Separate hubs means we do not have to make them sanctuary and will encourage world PVP. These hubs will have access to an AH, Bank and general vendors. Valor, conquest, profession and faction vendors will be scattered around the world to encourage travel.
Q:Will there be more guild levels in MoP, if so how far will the cap go and do you have any examples of new perks? A: We will be adding new levels to the guild leveling system for Mists of Pandaria. These new levels will come with new perks too! An example of a couple perks we are thinking about are reduced cost on void storage and transmogrification.
Q:Are you still considering expanding the proposed talent system or is the general form already set? As in, is there still the possibility of get more choice from the new system? (Six overall specializing skills seems quite limiting) A: We tried a lot of tiers. We were worried at more than 6 that the combinatorial complexity of >729 different variations of talents would be challenging to balance or for players to even comprehend. We want to focus on having fewer awesome talents than many tiers that will force us to dilute individual abilities in the name of balance (for example, if you ended up with 6 forms of crowd control, then all of them need to be pretty weak).
Q:Where exactly is Pandaria located on Azeroth? many speculate that it is in the south, but I have always assumed it was to the west of Kalimdor. A: Pandaria is located on the south side of Azeroth. Think the exact opposite of Northrend. Come to think of it, we should have named it Southrend.
Q:Since we're getting an account wide "pet library" so to speak, do you have any plans to extend this functionality to the mount page? Many players are hanging onto exclusive mounts on older/unplayed characters. A: We will be testing out account wide features with pet battles and if it proves successful there, we would certainly want to the same thing with mounts.
Q:Often as an enhancement shaman, I find that weapon drops, specifically agility one handers, are always rare or not made to be slow (I know slow daggers seem pretty odd, but stay with me here). Is there any chance we would be able to reforge swing speeds? A: We don't want minute differences in weapon speed to have a non-obvious, massive effect. We like daggers being fast and other weapons being slow and will make shaman etc. mechanics work around that.
Q:During the first discussion on talents, you revealed that Druids would be receiving a fourth talent tree to differentiate between bears and cats. I think this has been mostly received as a positive change by the community. You also stated that the notion of a hybrid tax is an antiquated view on class structure. Are there any plans to provide unique buffs to the four pure DPS classes to compensate for their lack of diversity, or maybe, creating a 4th spec in their areas that would allow for another role, such as a tanking Warlock? A: We don't want to have unique buffs per DPS spec within a class, but we do want to make sure the DPS specs do offer utility that the tanks and healers can't bring alone. We also want to have greater variety and richness among specs for those classes with multiple DPS specs (e.g. hunter, warrior). We definitely want for there to be a reason to bring pures to a group as well.
Q:In regards to the Challenge Mode dungeons, how many of the dungeons will offer these modes and will our entire level/stats be reduced to a level equal to lower level dungeons if applicable? A: We are hoping to have challenge mode dungeons enabled for all 9 of the new Mists of Pandaria dungeons. Assuming we like how it pans out, we would certainly be excited to extend the feature to more classic dungeons or raids.
Q:With shadow orbs becoming a new resource, do you have any plans to improve the interface to make tracking shadows orbs easier, like what was done with paladins? A: If you saw the way we handled the monk resource bar at Blizzcon, we are experimenting with doing that for various classes and specs who have resources like that. So we could move shadow orbs down in the middle of the screen for Shadow priests if that paradigm works out.
Q:Will you consider giving glyphs the same treatment as the talent trees? Glyphs are also somewhat cookie cutter, as passive damage increases are not fun and are mandatory for any player wishing to compete A: We aren't happy at all with Prime glyphs because they are no-brainers (but often mathy to figure that out). We want to expand the Major glyphs because that is where the real decisions lie. Not sure of the future of Primes quite yet. They *might* go away. (Don't freak, scribes!)
Q:With MoP you're introducing the pet battles. Will that be a new way of earning XP and/or valor points ? A: We are hoping to implement XP gain for pet battles in a similar way to what players see with gathering professions now. You would not want to level your entire character just on pet battles, but we do think you should be rewarded for participating in it.
Q:So with the removal of talent points it seems like players leveling lose their "awesome I just got zealotry" feeling. Though the new talent system seems interesting and unique the gap between each 15 levels makes a dullish feeling in between each gap. Any word on how this will play out? A: Couple of points. With Ret specifically, we wanted to try and address some of the feedback from players about the rotation. Divine Purpose and Zealotry add too much complication or RNG for some players, which is why we think they make good optional mechanics. Overall, when you see the rate at which you get new spells, you are still rewarded about every other character level (much like today). There are just a lot of core or spec spells that used to be no-brainer talents.
Q:I think I read somewhere that resilience is becoming a base stat in MoP -- if this is the case, what does that mean for PvP gear and/or does this mean that end game guilds will be top in PvP. A: Resilience will still be an important stat for competitive PvP. Likewise, PvE gear will still be the best gear for PvE. The hope is to lower the barrier of entry by making the gap smaller (but not trivial).
Q:One of the current issues discouraging World pvp is the presence of highly overpowered guards around cities and hubs, 1-shotting anyone who engages in PvP. How will this be in MoP? A: We know this is an issue in the current game and we plan to address it in Mists. We want to encourage world PVP, not make it a one-shot game for NPC guards. This is one of the main reasons we decided to make two separate player hubs instead of a shared sanctuary.
Q:Will pet battles be created the same way as duels? A: We will let players duel other players that are near them in the world, but we will also have a queuing system you can join to fight against other pet trainers of similar level.
Q:I see two new poisons given to rogues in the new talent system, does this indicate we'll be seeing poisons reworked for MoP? As it is the Assassination spec relies so heavily on the instant/deadly combo for damage it's not viable to use anything else. A: We are reworking poisons. For starters, rogue damage is balanced around the expectation of two damage poisons, which makes it really brutal to use a utility poision instead. In MoP, you will have one damage poison and one utility poison so you can choose which utility poison to use (and not IF you want a utility poison). We also want to reduce the amount of ramping that rogue DPS requires, such as removing the need for Deadly Poison to stack. (And likewise we want to make Bandit's Guile less punitive when swapping targets.)
Q:Will the pandarian racial that benefits XP bonus give them twice the blue bar for the same amount rested, or will it give you a larger multiplier when receiving XP? A: Their blue bar (rested XP) will last longer before running out.
Q:The island of Pandaria is set to be located on the back of a giant turtle, will this turtle go under water? A: The starting zone for new Pandaren is located on The Wandering Isle (the turtle). The continent of Pandaria itself is not a turtle, its a piece of land.
Q:Is there any chance of a new spell for paladins to fill the role of Holy Wrath for single target fights? A: Holy Wrath becomes a nuke for Holy. Ret and Prot will generate Holy Power from Judgment, Exorcism procs, Hammer of Wrath and other abilities that make sense. We still want there to be some small gaps in rhe rotation, but smooth over some of the frustration of today.
Q:How does the new death knight talent Asphyxiate work at this point? Does it last until the target takes damage, like Repentance or Hex, or is it channeled like the succubus minion's Seduction? A: Asphyxiate lasts 5 sec. There was a typo in the Blizzcon presentation. Asphyxiate is the same duration as Strangulate, which it replaces.
Q:What's going to happen to the currently existing Relics once the MoP arrives? will they be turned into gold/grey trash/off-hands/trinkets? A: Relics will turn into gray items that you can vendor.
Q:My questions concerns the limits to Pandaren faction chat. How do you intend to deal with if you meet someone at the starting pandaren area and friend each other (not RealID) yet choose seperate factions? A: Much like the worgen and goblins cannot leave their starting areas, you cannot friend a fellow pandaren until she has chosen her faction.
Q:At Blizzcon you stated that mage's primary nukes will be spec specific ( Fireball for Fire, Arcane Blast for Arcane, and Frostbolt for Frost). However, what will happen to Frostfire bolt? Currently it is only used by Frost Mages and only when a talent procs. Is this spell going to be reworked or simply removed from the game? A: Frostfire Bolt is the starting spell at level 1. You get Frostbolt, Fireball or Arcane Blast at level 10. Fire or Arcane can still use Frostfire if they want a snare, or when Brain Freeze procs for Frost.
Q:I have a question about dungeons... many people have complained that there were not very many dungeons this expansion (compared to the number of dungeons in 1-60 Azeroth, Outland, and even Northrend). In Cataclysm endgame, there were very few normal dungeons for a casual player to easily PuG, and the rest are perhaps a dozen or so heroics (which do get boring after doing the same ones over and over!). Do you plan to have more dungeons come MoP? Will there be more choices for both regular AND heroic versions to have a little something for everyone? A: We will have 9 normal mode dungeons at launch for Mists of Pandaria. 6 of those will be on Pandaria and 3 will be classic heroics (Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery). All of these dungeons will have a normal, heroic and challenge mode version. We are currently planning to not have any max level, non-heroic dungeons. Most players never found a good niche for dungeons at that tuning level.
Q:With MoP featuring the battle between the alliance and the horde, can we expect to see more prominent roles or appearances from famous NPCs? A: Yes, we certainly are.
Q:Is drain life ,death coil and soul harvest being removed since there are similar talents in it's place? A: Harvest of Life upgrades Drain Life (Drain Life turns into Harvest, which is a mechanic we use for several spells such as Strangulate -> Asphyxiate and HoJ -> Fist of Justice). Soul Harvest is being removed, but shards passively regen outside of combat or can Drain Soul in combat to replace them. Mortal Coil is the new Death Coil.
Q:Will there be a system where you can turn pet battles on/off at will? Sometimes I don't want to be pestered by obnoxious pet owners that constantly want to duel. Or perhaps I don't want to get a random encountet while trying to get anywhere. Anyways, will there be an option to switch pet battles off temporarily? A: We will have an option to disable invites to pet battles. Similar to what we have for player duels.
Q:The new Cold Snap talent resets Ice Block, Frost Nova, and Water Elemental. I realize that the talents are early, but given that the first two are baseline, might this mean that the Elemental (like Living Bomb) is becoming a core mage spell? A: Water Elemental is a Frost spec spell.
Q:How does the new warlock talent that allows you to move while casting, but doubles cast time affect channeled spells? A: Channeled spells take twice as long to tick after you have started moving with that talent.
Q:One of the issues with the Outland expansion was that it felt too 'off-worldly'. Northrend resolved this a bit by actually taking place -on- Azeroth, and Cataclysm brought back that wholesome Azerothian nostalgia. How does Pandaria handle this issue, considering how foreign the land (and indeed, the entire Pandaren lore) is to the world? When you're playtesting MoP, how do -you- feel about the land? A: We are actually working very hard on this specific concept. Pandaria is based on Asian landscapes but its important to remember that these landscapes need to feel like they fit in Azeroth, not the real world. So far, we feel really great about how we are doing on this. Hopefully that was clear to players at BlizzCon as well!
Q:What place will the World Bosses have in the scheme of raid difficulty and the item level of gear they drop? Will they be a mandatory part of the raiding cycle? A: We want the world bosses to be optional, kind of like Baradin Hold.
Q:Are we going to require items to change talents like changing the glyphs? A: Yes. Our goal (which is more important than the mechanism) is that we don't want swapping talents to be a huge pain, but don't want it to be so easy that making the choice isn't interesting. We don't want players to feel the need to swap talents in 5-player dungeons or for every trash pull in a raid.
Q:How big are the MoP areas going to be in comparison to say Outlands or Northrend? A: The zones themselves are quite large, even bigger when you take into consideration that you will not be able to use your flying mount until level 90. If I was to guess, I would say you could imagine the entire continent feeling like all 5 of the Cataclysm 80-85 zones combined.
Q:Will their be any raid size PvE scenarios? A: One step at a time, grasshopper. ;D
Q:Will there be a way for pandaran to switch factions (once) after they choose alliance/horde? Can they defect? A: We are currently planning for this to be a permanent choice.
Q:I play Enhance - with 4.3 the cooldown for Wind Shear is going to 26 seconds untalented, with Talents back to 5 Seconds, when MoP comes out those talents are gone. Are there plans to give the 5 second Wind Shear to Enhance as a base skill, or can I kiss my reputation as my Guild's top interrupter goodbye? A: We want Enhance to still have a frequent interrupt that locks out for less time than other interrupts. However, overall we want to reduce the frequency of interrupts and increase their duration so that when you use them is more of a decision. We want them to be more impactful for both the interrupter and target rather than a spammy nuisance.
Q:Any plans to rework the crowd control system? Currently fear is not a reliable form of CC unless a glyph is used so they won't move others, like warriors have no real CC at all. Speaking of which, how much CC will be needed in the new dungeons? A: We're currently exploring ways for Fear to behave more consistently without the glyph, but don't have a precise answer yet.
Q:Regarding the talent trees, will there be trees as we know them at all? I like the way you guys are moving with talents, but I wasn't sure if combat/assassination/subtlety would exist anymore at all? Using a rogue as an example, will all three trees be merged into 'Rogue' now? It's hard to tell from the examples given. A: Specs as you know them will still exist. At level 10 you can choose Assassination and get Mutilate. We want the specs (especially for the pure classes) to be more distinct than they are today since some of the signature utility is now available to all members of that class. Specs will contain core rotational mechanics and the tools needed to perform your role. Talents complement that with various forms of utility.
Q:I don't like PvP, I play on a PvP server, because my friends on a PvP server and most people from my country is playing on that particular server. I have to face world PvP every time I am doing my business in the new hubs in Pandaria? I love the new zone, but I don't want to be backstabbed by a rogue while I am selling my stuff, or buying equipment. Can non-interested players avoid the world PvP A: Yes, we certainly don't want you to always be back-stabbed while you are setting up your auctions. However, if a group of the opposing faction wants to form a raid and attack your city, we want them to have a chance to be successful. So yes and no. =)
Q:There seemed to be a bit of a backlash at BlizzCon against the idea of counters in the Pet Battle System. An example would be a water-based pet (Murloc) vs. a fire-based pet (Lil' Ragnaros). This makes the fighting seem a bit more intricate, but I can understand the desire to have Pet Battles be easier to approach. Is there any thought to more than one skill level? A: We intend to create a simple combat system with some engaging depth. We're still in the process hashing out the details. Suggestions are certainly welcome!
Q:So far everything I have heard about the expansion sounds too good to be true! I was wondering however - I had heard that Cooking will become a primary skill, but others say I have misheard/read this. But wouldn't it make the Pandaren racial moot if that were the case? Can you clarify? A: Cooking will remain a secondary skill. We do have some cool stuff planned to match the Pandaren love of cooking. For example, you can choose to specialize in different styles of cooking. For example, grilling may create Strength food. You can choose the specialization that makes the most sense for your character and still unlock feasts at the end, or you can try and learn all specializations.
Q:What will be the new cap for professions? Do you plan to create any new professions? A: The new cap for professions is 600 and we are currently not planning to add a new profession. We are hoping that pet battles will offer a fun, new type of activity for players to do that offers an alternative to player power progression.
Q:Will there be any grasshoppers? A: Yes! It actually just got checked into the game by the artists today! Going to be awesome to use in pet battles!
Q:Do you plan on making talent options for each class spec or only 1 set per class. In the preview it seemed that each tier complimented a specific spec rather the class. Also if you believe that talents should be fun choices why put damage dealing spells in the talent options rather then make them only things that increase movement speed, change rotation (ie makes 1 spell faster to cast),.This new system will not kill off cookie cutter builds if things people view as optional are mixed in with abilities. Make abilities base line with spec/leveling and make talents optional increases in power not through damage like the disc priest talent soul warding or rogues improved slice and dice....they both increases possible damage without a direct damage increase. Any comments? A: The damage-dealing talents aren't core rotational abilities, but situational or utility abilities. When there is a damage option, it should compete against other damage options. The idea is to get away from cookie cutter builds. We don't think there is always a right answer for whether you'd choose to run for longer or more often. Even today, guides will say "choose what you want" for those options. Some talents will probably be better situationally (if the boss can't be interrupted, then your interrupt talent isn't so sexy for that fight), but every e.g. shaman should not have the same talent set at the same time, or our design has failed.
Q:What will happen to passive abilities like trueshot aura, arcane tactics, improved icy talons and unleashed rage? Where will they go in the new talent system? A: Many of those become passive abilities you get for your spec. We are removing some of the less interesting buffs and debuffs (+bleed damage, armor, 3% damage, resists are all on the chopping block at the moment).
Q:At Blizzcon it was mentioned that PvE Scenarios will be something that we will queue for...Will we be required to be in the area that the PvE Scenario will take place in order to queue, or will we be able to queue for them from the cities like we do for the Dungeon Finder. If they are instanced events how will this "get the players out into the world" other than standing around a specific area waiting for the queue to pop, or am I missing the idea? A: We are planning to only let players queue for scenarios from specific spots in the world (where the scenario is located), not in the cities. We want players out in the world, not spamming the queue button in cities.
Q:Is there any chance we'll be seeing more weapons with procs? Something akin to thunderfury, sulfuras, or even the Revenge of Kalimdor? A: Yes, proc weapons are fun. There are several in the 4.3 raid. We will add more.
Q:What will the pandas ride? non anthropomorphic pandas? A: We are still working on ideas for their mount. An epic turtle is certainly one of the most popular options around the office right now!
Q:At Blizzcon you said that demolocks will create demonic fury and turn into a demon when it is maxed out. will this be automatically or will we be able to choose when we use our full demonic fury? A: You have control over when you transform. The amount of Demonic Fury you have determines the duration of the Metamorphosis.
Q:Can other people watch the pets battle? A: We are working really, really hard to have spectating for the pet battles. Trust me, we want it just as bad as you guys. Stay tuned.
Q:With the world PvP that is being talked about, are there any plans to add any Quest Hubs in Mists of Pandaria which functions like a smaller scale of Baradin Hold/Wintergrasp that will change faction when it is assaulted? Maybe even ones with actual leveling quests instead of just more dailies to add a dynamic questing experience like the ones that were talked about at Blizzcon? A: Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing we are thinking about. We will share more info on our ideas for this soon. The idea is that we want to give players more options and not just always have one place to go or one thing to do.
Q:What exactly is a PvE scenario? A: It's a short, instanced 2-3 player experience without the need for a tank/healer. Think of them as a short series of group quests with a queuing option available.
Q:It's clear from the consideration and thought you give your answers that you all have a deep understanding of the theory behind MMOs. Is this all knowledge learned on-the-job, or did you have any guidance such as school or peers when making these design decisions? A: There isn't a lot of formal training that goes into it (though that seems to be improving over time). A lot of it is playing a lot of games, but it helps to have a bunch of really smart dudes on the WoW team (and throughout the company) who can poke holes in what you were certain is a brilliant idea. The guys behind the scenes don't get enough credit for the success of our games.
Q:Will there be any new underwater zones in MoP? I personally loved Vashj' and would hope that there's at least some mini-zone in the starting area or something. A: Nope, we are not making another Vashj'ir. Glad you liked it though! =)
Q:I'm in a high end raiding guild and if the racials for Panderan stay as is, we are almost all going to have to race change. Do you plan to have the Panderan racials (specifically the double food buff) nearly balanced with the other races on release or do you want them to be the best to start with so more people play them? A: The food buff is the equivalent of racials like the haste or crit buffs of the goblin and worgen. We are still evaluating the power of our primary vs. secondary stats. Primary stats (Agi etc.) are a bit good right now, but that also helps ensure that new tiers of gear are nearly always upgrades.
Q:Will Arms Warriors do an equal amount of damage when using Bladestorm (lvl 90 talent) as Fury warriors, who have double weapons over arms? A: We don't want there to be obvious talent decisions. We can make Bladestorm do more damage with two weapons or let Arms do more damage to keep Arms vs. Fury equivalent.
Q:When do we except this x-pack to come out? (hopefully not late 2012) A: Based on what we showed at Blizzcon, hopefully sooner rather than later. =)
Q:Just have to say Blizzard are doing a wicked job with this expansion. It is very hard to hype up an expansion without some epic badass villain. The idea of the raging war between the two factions and the Pandaren being stuck in the middle (somehow trying to find peace?) looks to be so cleverly laid out. So very well done for that. New talent system is one of your best ideas yet. Just one question. How will the story be planned out with no villain, will there be a consecutive story eg every patch will release a raid focusing onto the main raid in the last patch. Or will every patch be unique in terms of story? A: There are definitely villains in Mists of Pandaria. We just didn't want to put one on the "box cover" so to speak (we don't know what the box looks like yet of course). You have seen some of them, like the mogu. We know who the final boss is. Seriously. It's just too epic to share. Yet.
Tier 13 Armor Sets Models Preview
The Death Knight Tier 13 is finally here and we can now compare armor sets to see who got the prettiest one!
All the armor sets screenshots should be fairly representative to what you will see in-game now, the color of visual effects on shoulders have been fixed, geosets should now be properly set, etc ...
A couple of sets got minor upgrades since the first previews, Druid and Warriors got a little more light effects on their shoulders for example.
Yes, individual classes/multi-races previews are coming, probably on very nice dedicated pages.
Dragon Soul LFR Testing Now Open (10/26)
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The first half of Dragon Soul is now testable through LFR. If you're level 85 and have an average item level above 365, you will be able to queue for the Siege of Wyrmrest Temple. The second LFR entry for the later half of the raid is not yet available.
This is VERY much a work in progress, the UI is in an unpolished state right now. Give it a try though!
PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 26/27
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The following four bosses are available for testing in 10 and 25 player Normal Difficulties:
Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Note that Jacob McWeaksauce is at this instant turned off, so you will have to progress through the raid normally to test each boss.
HEROIC testing begins this afternoon, and will continue on throughout tomorrow.
10/26 14:30 PDT - Morchok 10 Player Heroic 10/26 16:30 PDT - Yor'sahj the Unsleeping 10 Player Heroic
10/27 10:30 PDT - Hagara 10 Player Heroic 10/27 14:30 PDT - Ultraxion 10 Player Heroic 10/27 16:30 PDT - Spine of Deathwing 10 Player Heroic
As usual, this schedule is highly fluid and might change at a moment's notice due to build status, bugs, or other factors. I'll try to keep everyone up to speed as much as possible, but check back to this thread often.
New Guild Services Now Available - Updated
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Update! We've opened up guild services to two additional battlegroups, Whirlwind and Emberstorm, which include the following realms:
Pandas? Why?? Blizzard has given the Panderan a rich culture and a specific way of thinking. A history that goes back beyond the sundering with their own struggles and accomplishments. They have an identity beyond "Look, its Pandas."
This is something I want to touch on a bit more. People seem to think that Pandaren were a joke, a throw away easter egg that we never fully intended as a playable race.
I will direct you to recall the Warcraft RPG (pen and paper) manuals released in 2003. While much of it hasn't been canon for quite some time, the Pandaren occupy a greater amount of pages and space within the manuals to establish their lore and story than pretty much every other creature on Azeroth. To give it some context, they occupy the same number of pages as Trolls in the Monster Manual, and share the same amount space in the Alliance and Horde Compendium with Orcs or Humans, and just like them ... you guessed it... Pandaren were a playable race.
(there's also an awesome sketch Metzen did of a Pandaren, Dwarf, Furbolg, and Gnome hanging out all friendly-like)
As I said a lot of this was pre-World of Warcraft, and by whatever stroke of fate, Trolls and Forsaken became playable races and Pandaren, Naga, and Furbolgs did not. Some other mix could have just as easily been true, and no one would have questioned it. Worgen didn't even exist back then, of course, they were a new creation for World of Warcraft.
It would simply be inaccurate to state that Pandaren were a throw away. Our intent, going back to Warcraft III, when the vast majority of the world lore and story was established for the franchise, was always to have a deep and rich history for a race known as the Pandaren.
http://www.wowpedia.org/File:Heroraces.jpg?c=1There's the pic.
Haha, yup, that's the one. Thank you. And this is actually a great resource covering the contents of the manuals, just please keep in mind that much of it is now highly inaccurate and the visual style of the Pandaren have changed quite a bit since then.
Item - Dragon Soul Legendary Daggers (Legendary Stage Bonus) Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Shadows of the Destroyer, increasing your Agility by 17, stacking up to 50 times. Once you have acquired 30 stacks of Shadows of the Destoyer, each stack gained grants an increasing chance to trigger Fury of the Destroyer and cancel all stacks of Shadows of the Destroyer. Fury of the Destroyer immediately grants 5 combo points and causes your finishing moves to grant 5 combo points. Lasts 6 sec.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
The new raid lockout changes for Taiwan and Korea adjust the lockout timers for the patch 4.0 and 4.2 raids. The lockout timers for these raids will now reset twice weekly instead of once. These raid lockout changes are being made to allow players to raid more often and get more chances at epic loot drops. Players will be able to down current Cataclysm raid bosses twice a week, accelerating players’ progression.
We are testing these new raid lockout changes in Taiwan and Korea first. Our goal is to expand this change to other regions in the future, but we don’t have anything further to announce at this time with regard to North American implementation.
Death Knight Tier 13
Yep. Seriously. Like, seriously dude. This is a Model Viewer render, I will update those screenshots if necessary when I fixed my tools and give you a render closer to the one you could get in-game. (But those might be just fine)
New Models - Chromatic Dragon and Chromatic Dragon Mount
This is a Model Viewer render, I will update those screenshots if necessary when I fixed my tools and give you a render closer to the one you could get in-game. (But those might be just fine)
Patch 4.3 - PTR Patch 14890
A new PTR build is being deployed on test realms.
Destroyer's End Defeat Deathwing on Normal or Heroic Difficulty in the Dragon Soul raid. Title: Destroyer's End
Don't Stand So Close to Me Defeat Morchok in Dragon Soul on Normal or Heroic Difficulty without any two players (three players on 25-player mode) ever being within 5 yards of each other while Morchok is channeling Black Blood of the Earth.
Holding Hands Destroy the final Crystal Conductor during Hagara's lightning phase on Normal or Heroic Difficulty, while all raid members are part of the final Lightning Conduit.
Chromatic Champion Destroy Deathwing in Dragon Soul on Normal or Heroic Difficulty after beginning the encounter on each Aspect's platform:
Master Demonologist now increases damage done by demon servants and damage dealt while transformed by 18.4%, down from 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.3%, down from 2.5%.
You will receive a $10 discount when purchasing Guild Transfer and Faction Change in the same transaction, for a new total of $65 US.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
We are in the process of adding new guild services that will make relocating to a new realm, switching factions, or changing your guild name easier than ever before. Relocating your guild to a new realm or faction with this new service will keep your guild structure intact, including the guild leader, guild bank, ranks, and guild name (depending on availability). You won't even need to pack.
Guild members who decide to relocate with their guild may initiate their own paid character transfer. Upon a successful transfer they will automatically be part of the guild when they first log into the new realm. Their guild rank and guild reputation will be intact.
Guild leaders who do not want a change of scenery may also choose to pick a new guild name using another new service.
As a part of the process for adding these new services, we are launching on a single realm (Illidan-US) to perform additional testing for stability and functionality. We expect to be able to add additional realm availability to the service, including EU realms, in the coming days and weeks.
Q. What are the guild services for World of Warcraft?
A. Three guild services are available: Guild Master Realm Transfer, Guild Master Faction Change, and Guild Name Change. These services can only be initiated by a character who is a Guild Master.
Q. How much do these services cost?
A. When purchased individually, the Guild Master Faction Change costs $40 US, the Guild Master Realm Transfer costs $35 US, and the Guild Name Change costs $20 US. You will receive a $10 discount when purchasing Guild Transfer and Faction Change in the same transaction, for a new total of $65 US. In addition, one Guild Name Change is free with the purchase of either a Guild Master Faction Change or Guild Master Realm Transfer. All sales of guild services are final -- no refunds will be given once a purchase is made.
Q. Do taxes apply to these services?
A. Players in select states in the U.S. may be subject to taxation when using a guild service. This includes but is not limited to:
Q. Aside from being a Guild Master, are there any other requirements for the character that initiates a guild service?
A. The Guild Master must meet the same requirements governing the equivalent character-level service (such as Character Transfer), including being at least level 10 (except for Guild Name Change) on an account in good standing. View the Character Transfer FAQ or Faction Change FAQ for more details.
In addition, the Guild Master's Battle.net account must be protected by a Battle.net Authenticator or a Battle.net Authenticator that has been active for at least three days (starting at the time of the first Authenticator-protected login to the game) before a guild service can be initiated. If additional security-related requirements apply to your character, they will be brought to your attention when you initiate a guild service.
Q. Are there any requirements for the guild to be able to undergo a guild service?
A. A guild must be at least level 2 to undergo a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Faction Change. There is no level requirement for a Guild Name Change.
Q. How do the two "Guild Master" services work?
A. When performing a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Guild Master Faction Change, only the Guild Master character transfers realms or switches factions. The Guild Master takes the framework of the guild as well, including the guild vault, level, perks, and achievements.
Q. What happens to my guild members?
A. Your guild members remain in the original guild. The original guild will be reset to level 1 and will not retain its guild bank or any of its achievements, reputation, or progression. You will also select a new Guild Master from the guild roster to replace you after your character leaves. Your guild members will be eligible to follow you to the guild’s new location by performing their own character service (such as a Character Transfer). If they do so, they will automatically rejoin the guild and retain their guild reputation.
Guild members who plan to transfer to the guild’s new location should not quit the original guild – otherwise, they will not regain their guild reputation after transferring to guild’s new location.
Q. What happens to my guild bank, level, and so on?
A. The guild bank, level, perks, and achievements transfer with the Guild Master character to the new realm and/or faction.
Q. Will individual members’ guild reputation be retained when they rejoin the guild?
A. The Guild Master character will retain his or her reputation after transferring, and guild members who decide to transfer will regain their guild reputation when they rejoin the guild at its new location. However, there are two notable exceptions where this does not occur: if the guild member transfers realms before the Guild Master, or if the guild member quits the guild on the original realm before transferring realms.
Q. Is there anything that doesn’t transfer with the Guild Master?
A. Besides your guild members, the only thing that doesn’t transfer is your guild rank structure. You will have to reassign ranks at the new location.
Q. How will my guild members know when this happens and how to follow me?
A. After a Guild Master service is complete, your guild members will receive an in-game mail with instructions on how to follow you. They will be directed to Battle.net account management to initiate their own character service(s), which will need to be purchased separately. This process will be streamlined, so options such as the destination realm and/or faction will be preconfigured.
Q. Will there be an out-of-game notification of a guild realm transfer or faction change?
A. No, the only notification will be the in-game mail delivered to your guild members.
Q. How long will a player be eligible to follow a Guild Master after a realm transfer or faction change?
A. There is no time limit on following a Guild Master to a new location, as long as the guild member does not leave the current guild before Guild Master Realm Transfer or Faction Change is complete. If a guild member leaves a guild that has moved to a new location, or joins a new guild, the member’s reputation with that guild will be wiped after 30 days.
Q. Are there any requirements for a guild member who wants to follow a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Faction Change?/
A. The guild member must meet the requirements of the character service they are undergoing (Character Transfer or Faction Change), including being at least level 10 and on an account in good standing. For the complete list of requirements, refer to the Character Transfer FAQ or the Faction Change FAQ.
Q. How long does a guild service take?
A. Under normal conditions, a guild service takes one to two hours to complete, but please allow up to several days.
Q. Is there a cooldown period for guild Realm Transfers, Faction Changes, or Name Changes?
A. The cooldown periods for guild services are the same as their related character-level services. For more information on these services, please refer to the Character Transfer FAQ or the Faction Change FAQ.
Q. What happens if I transfer my guild to a realm where my guild name is taken?
A. If your guild name is taken on the destination realm, you'll be prompted to pick a new name for your guild during the realm transfer process on the Battle.net website.
Q. Can I customize my character and name when doing a faction change?
A. Yes, the same character customization options offered in the Appearance Change service are included in a Guild Master Faction Change.
Q. I'm ready to move my guild! How do I initiate a Guild Master Realm Transfer or Guild Master Faction Change?
A. Before initializing a guild service, make sure you've created a Billing Profile. (Learn how to create one.) Step-by-step instructions on performing a guild service can be found here:
Player housing, like the dance studio, are nowhere near the ballpark of pet battles in terms of development time. This goes back to the final point I made in my original post. You can't just put a huge list of features on an equal timeline and decide which to throw out. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Faction Balance in the WoW Storyline
I know I did talk about this subject when Cataclysm was the fresh, hot topic. I don't remember what my exact words were, though, and would love to read them again after seeing several people bring them up in this thread.
I'm pretty sure I never made any specific point that an equal amount of story and retribution would be dedicated to the Alliance in Cataclysm, because I was well aware of how most of the story would play out. The Horde made many more grabs for power and dominance when Thrall left. Then Thrall became the protagonist with the evolving story of each patch focusing on the efforts to defeat Deathwing.
The stories of the villains in the expansions so far have had pretty direct closure, but that's never been the case for the two player factions. And one shouldn't expect it to be with the conclusion of any expansion. Things will continue to change and there will be an ongoing tit-for-tat between the Horde and Alliance. If you start the story at Warcraft I and move forward, that's evident. Leaders have changed. Cities have been destroyed. New cities have been created. Land has been gained and lost. The races who have allied with either side have changed.
It's going to keep going and we have no ambitions to decisively make one faction less interesting or cool than the other. That's not a good design philosophy for two playable factions and it doesn't make for a flourishing story.
But you will win some and you will lose some. And the wins and losses won't be at equal intervals for both sides, aligning with the release of each patch or expansion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Pet battles? Why?
We do add features to the game often based on concepts players have expressed interest in. But in order to dedicate ourselves to making epic games, we also need to spend a lot of time and resources anticipating what gamers of all walks of life will find fun. That's how all of our games thus far have been created. While our design decisions for any game will always be met with mixed reactions, we couldn't be respected in our industry if our approach to game design is always reactive.
You made it clear you don't like the idea of pet battles. It seems there's a decent chance you won't enjoy them when the system's released either, though there's no sense in conceding that absolutely before you try it -- no matter how convinced you are you'll hate it. But, as was said multiple times by Game Director Tom Chilton at BlizzCon, we want more content systems and forms of progression in the game so our extremely diverse playerbase has a lot of choices over what to spend time doing for fun, accomplishment, socializing, a challenge, etc.
I guarantee you a lot of players are really going to love this feature. It's going to be an engaging mini-game that actually has quite a bit of depth and progression, just not in the traditional sense of increasing your character's power. That shouldn't always have to be a driving factor in our content. As the OG players have said countless time before, Southshore and Tarren Mill world PvP battles didn't become popular because there was a tangible reward incentive. The majority of World of Warcraft systems and content, particularly at level 85, are currently directed at enhancing a character's power. While that won't fully change, we want to continue creating new avenues to make that happen as well, such as is the case with adding a third, more accessible raid tier with the Raid Finder, or adding PvE Scenarios to facilitate the quick formation of smaller groups to take on a series of event-driven quests.
But Pet Battles and Dungeon Challenges are very different. With one, you're actually getting a use out of the pets you've collected over the years, in order to progress them in a fun mini-game, unlock countless more pets, and just generally give your character a new depth of style and flavor. Similarly, Dungeon Challenges are difficult 5-player dungeons which really allow you to push your skills and PvE small group coordination to the limits. They'll scale, so the better you do, the better you're rewarded and ranked. That gives your character a new measurement of PvE progression prowess and bragging rights. Plus, you can earn exclusive set designs which are purely aesthetic -- to be used with Transmogrification -- which, again, give your character a new depth of style and flavor.
It's about giving people options in the game to play it how they want to. We have a lot of people playing, so with almost seven years of World of Warcraft on the market, we want to continue innovating features we believe people will enjoy experiencing in this game. And a hell of a lot of thought, discussion, debate, and iteration at Blizzard goes into this stuff, mind you. :)
To address your overarching point a little bit, the way various development resources are expended on creating features for the game is extremely complicated and very unique to each project. That can't be explained in a way that will be fully understood by the community at all times, in all situations. While I understand your point is that no resources should be spent on pet battles, you're really not in a place to make a well-referenced argument about what features in development are taking time away from others you feel are more pertinent. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)